A 5.9-magnitude earthquake felt across Victoria on Wednesday has been considered by an academic expert as the state's biggest in more than a century.
Charles Sturt University Associate Professor Ben Wilson in the School of Agriculture, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences said it was the strongest earthquake recorded in Victoria since a magnitude 5.7 quake was recorded at Mount Hotham in May, 1966.
"Earthquakes are not that uncommon in Australia with around 400 each year but they are usually less than a magnitude of 2.5 so they are not felt by most people," he added.
"Earthquakes occur because pressure builds as the world's tectonic plates collide with each other.
"The Australian plate is the fastest on the planet, moving northward at the rate of about seven centimetres a year (the same speed as your fingernails grow) and the build-up of pressure is released in the weak points in the crust known as faults.
"Victoria has many faults, with most occurring in the areas associated with the mountains and ranges of the eastern part of the state.
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"The mountains in Victoria began forming when the Tasman sea opened up between Australia and New Zealand 90 million years ago and the ripping forces associated with this event produced huge fault lines.
"These fault lines were the focus of mountain building events over millions of years as hundreds or thousands of smaller earthquakes thrust smaller chunks of Australia upwards.
"Those faults are still there today and when pressure builds up, it will be released in these old weak points, which is why many earthquakes today occur in mountainous areas."
Meanwhile, no damage has been reported to Hume or Dartmouth dams after Water NSW and Goulburn Murray Water completed precautionary safety inspections on Wednesday.
Hume Dam sits at 97.2 per cent capacity and concerns were raised by the community to Murray Darling Basin Authority about potential damage from the quake.
Authorities will monitor and review the situation.
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